Wednesday, February 29, 2012

don't wish it away

The days lately have felt very long. Elias is in a new, er, phase, where he is full of energy and emotion and frustration and, and, and... His personality and needs seem to have doubled, and I have to admit to being taken aback by it all.

I know-- it's a toddler thing, a little boy thing, a normal thing, and it's a part of having a little person running around (literally-- he only runs now, no more walking). But I'm hoping that no one minds me saying that it's hard. And frustrating. It's makes me feel a little helpless, a little like running a marathon each day. A little overwhelmed.

Perhaps it's a little obvious already that I'm overwhelmed? I'm noticing that I'm using lots of italics.

Anyway, I was just noticing that inner monologue that I carry with myself throughout my day, and I found myself wishing. For what? I don't know, a break, some excitement, something new and fun. I don't have anything in particular in mind, but I know that's it's different than the day I'm currently living.

And I found myself saying-- with more wisdom than I normally hear from myself-- to not wish it away. Don't wish it away, Alanna. This is all there is. This is life, lived out in it's most primal form. Daily keeping house, feeding the family, caring for others, chasing around a toddler, doing, doing, doing. This is it. And-- these days are the ones I'll look most fondly on in the future, when my baby boys are off at college, or they want to hang out with their own friends on a Friday night, or they are off with their own families around the holidays.

So this is it. As I've seen lately (and it's so brilliant I want to tattoo it on my face): The days are long but the years are short. I know this and believe it, but still find myself wishing for something to distract. Worrying about what I'm going to do with a toddler and a newborn. Here at the house. By myself. (I mean, really. What am I going to do? Besides survive ;-)

I don't want to just survive the daily marathon. If it's going to be a marathon, and it's going to be daily, then I'd like to enjoy it-- now, not in my memory in the future.

So, I'm going to attempt to enjoy the rest of the day, to feel satisfied that this is my reality, that this is my job. To understand what a blessing it is to bake granola at two-thirty in the afternoon on a Wednesday while my son naps peacefully upstairs. It certainly is a blessing, such a wonderful gift.


  1. I can attest to the fact that this doesn't affect only those with toddlers. I find myself wondering if it's something prevalent among those of us who are stay-at-homes.

    1. I've been pondering your comment since I saw it, Dawn. I wonder what exactly the common thread is, since I had originally thought it to be about having little children around. I think perhaps that it may be the constant work of supplying basic necessities to our loved ones, the kind of necessities that are more bodily than emotional or thoughtful, although of course we do that as well. But I wonder if it's the constant supplying of food, shelter, comfort, baths, etc., that makes us long for the "higher" work of the mind.

      Saying that, however, I do appreciate the constant and consistent task of taking care of the needs of our (my family's) bodies; I feel like it grounds me to reality, and to the enjoyment and fulfillment of working with my hands, in a way that working outside the home as an English instructor and graduate student never gave me.

  2. YOU ARE SO WISE!! YOU ARE SO REAL!! I am so proud of you. I stand on the other side: married daughter, engaged son, daughter gradutated from college and looking for a career-job, son in 11th grade getting ready to step out into life.

    The only advise I have is: YOU are important too. Remember with your actions and schedules to schedule time for fun and joy. Take it from me...dishes and laundry are eternal as is dust and dirt and all the "house-work-y" part of being a stay at home mom. But Alanna, you are very good at "moments" ~ give yourself permission to play, find the time to continue to read good books, to talk to good friends, to DELIGHT in your son (and run with him, or at least sit down and let him run around you till you are both giggling your heads off). You are RIGHT and you are WISE...and you are WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. You couldn't be more of an encouragement to me, Barbara. Wish I could soak it up in person, but this way is just fine too :-)

  3. and

    THANK YOU for posting.

    you gave me a smile that will stay stuck on my face while I go "do dishes and laundry and ... all the forever there things" in my day.